Anambra State governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo has increased salaries of workers in the state civil service by ten percent as part of his administration’s efforts to motivate them for higher productivity.
The governor, who gave the cheering news during the celebration of the 2022 Public Service Day at the Anambra State Secretariat Complex Awka, also announced N15,000 Christmas bonus for the workers.
He, however, said that the Christmas rice usually given to them in the past is no longer tenable.
He said: “We reviewed how the Christmas rice was done in the past and discovered that it is no longer tenable. I understand that past governments gave 25kg bag of rice to civil servants for Christmas, but the state of Nigeria is bad. Everybody is complaining. Prices are rising very fast. I look at you and wonder how you cope.
“Today, 50kg bag of rice costs over ₦40,000, which is beyond the salary of a graduate in the public service.
“What we will do instead, between today (Tuesday) and tomorrow, is to first ensure that our pensioners are taken care of to demonstrate good faith.
“I wish we could do much more, but today, you will receive an alert of ₦15,000 as Christmas bonus.
“The income is not increasing, government revenue is not increasing and we cannot print money.
“I understand what you feel and wish that our revenue will go up so we can multiply what comes to you in proportion to Nigeria’s inflation.
“The Head of Service made a request for releasing funds to process promotion.
“We have made the budget for next year and it has been signed. Any new thing not in the budget can’t be done.
“I received a report a few days ago recommending minor adjustments in salaries. We will review it and see if it is feasible.”
According to him, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited has not remitted a dime to the federation account since February, adding that the state of finances meant that government cannot do everything at the same time.
“We have to prioritize and that is why we are collecting taxes. Next year, Lagos is expecting to collect 100 billion naira a month from IGR while Anambra is still aiming at 3 billion naira. “But I assure ndi Anambra that any money that comes into our hands will be utilized judiciously”, Soludo said.
He said further: ” I was here last year during the public service day to plead for your votes. Today, I have appeared to you as the governor of this state. You employed me as your chief servant and I am your employee.
“I thank you for your services to Anambra. I am the Chief Public Servant and without you, there will be no public service.
“The civil servants contribute to what is making Anambra to be what is it today. I commend all the ministries and the staff of Anambra State Public Service.
“We promised to create a liveable and prosperous homeland. This is our mission and you all shall deliver it. We delivered this message through the head of service.
“We are not supposed to be celebrating public service at this time of the year, but I insisted that it has to be done to thank you all for the year 2022 before we cross over into 2023.
“Our five fingers of government include security, law and order; economic transformation, social agenda, reforming ways government works and the environment”.
He congratulated 33 workers who received awards and enjoined others to also work hard.
Soludo also said that the Monday sit at home will soon be a thing of the past in the state, wondering how someone should stay in Finland and declare five days sit at home in Nigeria. ln Anambra, the sit at home was not observed
“We will get back to work full scale, working five days in a week. When we work four days and our children go to school only four days, we won’t deliver the same thing as those who work for five days.
“We must take back our state, otherwise we are losing 20% each week. Security, law and order must come back fully into Anambra. Kidnappers and criminals must give way in our state. 100% of those we have caught are Igbo, but it must come to an end”, Governor Soludo further stated.
In her speech, the state Head of Service, Mrs. Theodora Igwegbe called for the full implementation and consideration of the national minimum wage in the state and upward review of salaries to mitigate economic challenges of the country.
She also appealed for the governor’s approval of funds for civil service commission to conduct 2023 promotion interviews, provision of official cars for permanent secretaries and directors as done in the past, provision of work tools, computers and procurement of buses to ease transportation challenges of civil servants.